Friday, December 31, 2010
Here is why I choose to share this on my blog though. First off, the lady who's story this is, is a nurse too, so I can totally 100% relate having a hectic day and flowers making it all better. There have been a few shifts where I was having a bad day, Jared ended up surprising me with flowers, and it just brightened my day so much! I've never been asked to give up the flowers Jared gave me, but I could imagine I'd really struggle with it. I want to say I'd be strong enough to give up the flowers, but I don't know that I would be, to be honest. The flowers just give you that extra ... love that you need to make it to the end of the day. To know that something better is waiting if you do give up the flowers though... it would make it worth the initial pain.
I also, obviously, can relate on the adoption part Stefanie did. I guess it's hypocritical of me to expect someone to give up their "flowers" when I don't know that I could. Maybe that's why I have the utmost respect and such a great love for all birth moms... and birth families! Anyway~ when Stefanie changes the elderly woman's story into an adoptive mom's story it just really struck home. Mine is a bit different because I didn't barely find out that we couldn't conceive or struggle getting pregnant. It's all the same though in that I can't biologically have kids, I have emotional struggles about it, and I long to be a mom one day. I know that our birth mom, whoever she may be, is an angel and I can't wait to have her be a part of our life!!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Devin has requested that I share some of my feelings relating to adoption, and how I feel about being a grandmother to an adopted child.
I began pondering the reality of adoption some years ago, as a teenager I was told that there was a very real possibility that I would never be able to bear children. I struggled to understand what that would mean to me and eventually I concluded that adopting a child would be a wonderful thing and if I could not have children of my own I would most definitely adopt. Years later my sister was face with the most difficult decision of her life. She was expecting a child. A child that she desperately loved, but sadly she was not in a position to give this child the life she knew he deserved and she made the agonizing decision to place him in the arms of a couple who could not give birth to children of their own. I watched her pain, I still see her pain; she knows that she made the correct decision but it still hurts and there is a hole in her heart. She longs to know where he is, to see the man he has become and to let him know that she let him go out of love. Through her I have come to glimpse the pain that a birth mother will go through to give the precious gift of a child to my lovely daughter and her wonderful husband Jared.
I remember well when Devin was born and the Dr. told me that there was a possibility that she had Turner’s Syndrome and briefly explained what that would mean in our life. My thought at the time was something to the effect that if I was going to have a child with special needs I surely got off easy. Test later proved that Devin did indeed have Turner’s Syndrome, I learned what I could, and enjoyed my precious baby. Devin did have some critical health problems as an infant. She weighed 9 lbs. when she was born, she still weighed 9 lbs. on her first birthday; the first year was rough and many hours were spent in and out of doctor offices. I was terrified that Devin’s life on earth would be short. As it turned out she out grew her problems, and by her first birthday my biggest concern was putting a little fat on her bones. Her problem was in no way related to the lack of an X chromosome.
From the time of her birth we were very open with Devin and her siblings concerning the differences and challenges that resulted from Devin’s birth defect. We worked around what we needed too, we joked about her short stature and we lived our lives in a very normal way. We frequently discussed the fact that Devin would be unable to give birth to children of her own, and we would often put in our orders for the type of child we wanted. We had fun with it but we all are in agreement that any child is to be cherished and any child would be welcome not only in Jared and Devin’s home but in our family as well.
Due to her kind and loving disposition Devin was always everyone’s favorite sister. She was quick to give a helping hand to any member of the family and her brothers and sisters were frequently guilty of taking advantage of her – but she didn’t care. Devin is still quick to offer a helping hand to anyone in need, she loves to work and she loves to help others. Her ability to love everyone is a wonderful gift and it will serve her well in her chosen profession and as an adoptive mother.
I believe that a child is a gift from God to be cherished and loved and that is true whether it be an adoptive or birth child. I eagerly look forward to the day when I will hold Devin and Jared’s child in my arms and give thanks to my Heavenly Father for their precious miracle.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
True Joys of Life
Adjacent to my office at work is a 35 year old young lady. She is a buyer and handles million dollar transactions on a regular basis. I would describe her as being very confident, self-assured and professional. She spends long hours at work and receives much praise from co-workers. Outside of work she can be found training horses. She absolutely loves it. She appears to be happy, but I can honestly say I feel sorry for her because she is so busy climbing the corporate ladder she has no time for the greatest joys in life, KIDS!
Being the father of ten kids, my greatest moments of happiness and deepest sorrows are all bundled up in a package I call joy. Kris and I are thrilled to the bone to listen to our girls sing. Jeni and Krystal continue to uplift and inspire the hearts of our church friends and families as they lift their voices to heaven with the voices of angles. Only one percent of all Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts. Five of our eight sons have climbed the summit of this mountain with the other close to the peak. On the spiritual side of the house, six of our sons have chosen to serve God for two years at their own time and expense. They have all been successful to bring souls to God in Nebraska, Kosrae (Sm. Pacific Island), San Diego, Brazil, Peru, Massachusetts. All of our sons are worthy priesthood holders. Jeni continues to shine as she shapes and molds the hearts of three of our grandkids. Speaking of grandkids we have been blessed with 12 wonderful souls with two more on the way. If I had known how wonderful grandkids were we would have just skipped the kid phase (they are great, all the fun and no work). All of our married kids (7) chose to start their marriage in God’s holy temple for time and all eternity. All of the grandkids are sealed to them since they were born in the covenant.
I am not here to tell you that life is without bumps and dips. However, with the prayer and support of family, teachers and friends we are able to rise one more time then we fall. The Payne’s are not quitters and with the help of God they will succeed. All of our kids come from a long line of love and will pass on, to the next generation, this Legacy of Love. I hope Jared and Devin will be given the opportunity to pass on to their adopted children this Legacy of Love. I can honestly tell you that the grandparents wait with open arms to embrace these new family members, for they represent the True Joys of Life.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I don't know what year, but this was one of her birthdays
I do not remember a time when i didn't know that Devin couldn't have kids. It was just a fact of life. My mom was always straight forth and honest with any questions that we had. Like why Devin got shots every day, why she was so much shorter, what are all the docotrs appointments for and why is she so happy that her bones are eight years old now. Shes ten!
I always knew it was because she had turners syndrome. I never fully understood what turners syndrome was; and even today while I can tell you what it is, and what some of the symptoms are, I don't think I fully understand it completely.
One of the biggest effects of turners syndrome is that the woman can not ever have any kids; her ovaries don't ever develop. Growing up we like to tell Devin that she as lucky she couldn't have kids because she never had to get fat, and she got to pick her kids and she could have the black baby girl that we always wanted! (we love pouffy hair in my family)
That was our own sadistic way of trying to make Devin feel better on those occasional days when you could see she was having a hard time with not being able to have a baby. Devin never felt like she was allowed to cry over it, she never thought that she was allowed to be sad about it, or even mourn. She always put on a brave face, she never cursed the Lord or got mad at anyone else over it. Because of that, she is one of the strongest women I know for having the faith that one day god will give her and Jared a baby. Jared is a strong man for going into a marriage knowing that he can never have his own natural children. Most men wouldn't. Any baby they get is going to be so lucky to have them as parents. Even if Jared does wear the silly toe shoes.
Like Jared's mom said 'placing your baby up for adoption is one of the most selfless act someone could do' I agree. It pains me to watch Devin as she try to put on a brave face when another one of her friends or family member get pregnant and has another baby. Devin was born a mom. She was the mother of Melissa and I growing up. She always is taking care of everyone else and thinks of herself last.
A mother is not someone that gave birth. A mother wipes the tears when they fall. She is up with her children all night when they are sick. She cries for them when they are hurt and cries when they succeed. A mother is a selfless person who puts the needs of her children before her own. Devin has been a mother and grew up in a family who's love is unconditional.
We never doubted that our mother loved us; and I know Devin and Jared's children will never doubt that they love them.
I pray everyday that Devin and Jared will get a baby of their own; and I know without a doubt that they will. I found this poem while cruzing the internet and I think it puts the pain that a soon to be mom feels about waiting to become the new mom.
I’m pregnant but my tummy isn’t showing,
And no one ever calls me “little mom”.
My neighbours simply aren’t overflowing
With questions that I’d handle with aplomb.
There are no special clothes to mark my waiting.
Nobody stops and smile as I pass by.
The absence of a due date is frustrating,
And looking at the nursery makes me cry.
When I’m “overdue”, no one will worry.
The phone won’t ring and ring as friends check in.
I can’t induce my labor in a hurry,
My new life as a parent to begin.
Adoption is a wearisome endeavour,
And waiting all alone is not much fun.
To be “with child” a year seems like forever …
Dear God, we’re ready: please send us our baby.
Thank you so much Devin for letting me be apart of adoption month on your blog. I never had the chance to sit down and think about how i truly felt about adoption. You are an amazing woman and Jared is great too. You are lucky to have found him. I can not wait for you to be blessed with your own child, and I can't wait to be her (I love boys but we need more girls!) favorite aunt.
Because we all know that I am the favorite :-)
Saturday, November 20, 2010
This one decision will change so many lives. Certainly the life of the birth mother, who gave so much of herself to provide life for another, only to feel empty arms and heart, but hopefully a new beginning for her child and for herself. It would change the life of a new family- created by the sacrifice of another. But it will have the biggest impact on their own dear child. What a quest- to choose for your child, with the help of the Lord, the family with the power to help him reach his eternal potential. I admire and appreciate you who sacrifice so much.
From the other side of the fence, I would much rather endure morning sickness, being so fat you can’t see your feet (let alone tie your shoes), and labor and delivery – rather than endure the years of wanting, waiting, hoping and praying that you would be able to start a family. You know Jared and Devin must be told his brother’s family is expecting child number 5. And you know they will be torn. They want to be happy for them, and they are. But the pain of their own empty arms is renewed and they can’t help it- they also mourn as their wound is reopened once again. The inability of a happily married couple to start a family creates a void that cannot be filled with nieces, nephews, friends or pets. I see their good hearts and know what amazing parents they will be, if given the chance. Children adore them! Jared and Devin bring out joy in children.
I pray that their faith will be sustained as they continue to wait and dream. And I admire their determination to live life fully while they wait
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
1) A friend of mine adopted her first and had a few children biologically after. She told me a story about when her and her husband decided to adopt... one set of parents were upset! They didn't want this sweet couple to adopt. Even to this day (which the adoption was 13 years ago) this grandma will refer to the adoptee as "my adopted grandchild". I'm sorry, but that is just heart breaking. Consequently, this adoptee has issues being with this grandparent. Which is sad grandparents are the best!
I'm so glad both sides of our family are so excited, willing, and accepting of our adopting. They constantly are asking how things are going to which we reply frustratingly slow. Jared’s side of the family is very welcoming of people into their home. There are people who live by them who are family. They may not have been adopted but are invited to family functions. My family is also very accepting and excited for us to adopt. Seems like they've always talked about the day we'd be placed and get to adopt. I'm hoping to get some of them to do a guest post... so keep coming back to read their thoughts. We happy to have such a welcoming family where our children will just be part of the family.
2) I was recently also told about a teenager in the foster care system. This teenager kept running away from foster families because the teenager just wanted to be adopted by someone of her own race. Don't get me wrong, this teenager has the right to choose what type of family they belong too. There must be a feeling of belonging when you actually look and act like the rest of your family. I once read a story about an African American girl who was adopted by a white family. She loved her family but struggled with some simple things. For example her mother could not help her much with her hair. The texture was just so different that there was not much common ground on this topic. It was hard for her to talk about these things with her Mom. I can't say there are not issues with inter racial adoptions but for me race and whatever doesn't matter in the long run. We will be a family because we care for each other and that is enough for me.
We love adoption and look forward to accepting who comes into our home with open arms and overflowing hearts.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I normally do not put dates in the family letter but this week was a very fun date. We went to a football game. It was a middle school game. I had some boys playing and it sounded like something fun to do. We got bundled up and headed out. Boy does Devin come prepared to a game. She had her coat, sitting pads, and not 1, not 2, but 3 blankets. I was a little surprised she had a plan for each but she did not get very cold. She gives credit to the blankets for that. The game ended up being the championship game for the boys. They had played the other team twice before this season and lost both times. The other team did not even know what it was to loose since they had not done it all season. Our boys did their best and pulled off a 7-6 victory. Everyone went wild. I had not been to a game in years and it really was fun to cheer on the boys to victory.
This week we prepared for the parent’s favorite sacrament meeting of the year, the primary program. Saturday we went to the practice and boy was that fun. I started out in my designated position on the stand sitting on the piano bench next to Devin. I like sitting there. One of our 4 year old neighbor kids started to cry because she did not want to sit with her class. She wanted to sit with me. I was happy to oblige. About half way through the practice the primary presidency asked if I would sit with the sunbeams. One of their teachers is in Australia. I think I may have been to distracting sitting with Cambree next to Devin. Cambree stood up on my lap while singing so she was close to 6 feet tall. She also sat on my shoulders when she was suppose to be sitting down. Either way I was happy to go to the sunbeams. They have no concept of being reverent and I think that is awesome. After going through the program once and only being half way through the 2 hour practice. I took the sunbeams outside. We went running around the church looking for secret doors to go through. I knew they were all locked but the kids had a great time finding all the doors. I had a great time with the kids and they did an excellent job in the program. They got up and sang when they needed to and actually behaved pretty good. We did have one boy who half way through the program decided to leave. I cut him off and asked where he was going. He told me “I am too shy. I need to sit down.” I was excited to tell him he was not to shy and he had already sang 3 songs. He brightened up and ran back to his place.
I am also substituting as a primary teacher for the 10 year old class. Today was a lesson on the Lord’s law of health. We talked about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. How they were taken prisoner and told to eat bad food. The day before I had made pumpkin pie so I had good food for the kids. I also brought in “wine”, grape soda. Obviously these were the bad foods to eat. I also brought in carrots and fresh homemade rolls. The kids loved all the food and we had a great time eating in class. About midway through the lesson we were talking about alcohol and how it is bad for you. One of the girls interrupted and told me how much she loved bread especially the smell of fresh bread. I then told the girls what it was when you cook bread that makes that wonderful smell, alcohol. They then got offended that I put alcohol in the bread. I then explained what yeast does and was hoping to move on. One girl was almost in tears she declared she would never eat bread again. I told her it would be alright to eat bread. She was concerned she could get drunk from eating bread. She asked what would happen if she filled the room with bread and then ate all the bread. I promptly told her she would get very fat. Everyone laughed. She later asked if it was only the smell that had alcohol. I did tell her yes even tough that is not completely true. I think she will be fine eating bread. Maybe I should give her parents a heads up just in case.
We hope that your week will be as fun filled as our was. Hopefully your kids will not have a poor primary teacher like me who makes them afraid of eating bread.
We love you all
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Devin’s aunt Gretchen came and stayed with us this week. She came to visit Granddad and Grandma Hurst. She was not really here to hang with us and so we did not see her much. She did confess to something I got a good laugh at though. One of the first nights she was here she was in the other room and heard Devin and I raising our voices. I heard through the grapevine Gretchen thought we where fighting, and she thought it had to do with her visit. I guess she was relived to find out we where laughing and having a great time. We always love to have company over and visit. We will always try and keep our rare arguments away from you. I will say that more times than not we will have raised voices especially if they are laughing in good fun.
In case anyone forgot I am the Scout Master in my ward. This week we were working on the citizenship in the community merit badge. This gave me an opportunity to sit down and think about myself and what it means to be a good citizen in the community. It does not matter what you do but the most important thing is to be involved in your community. That can be doing simple things like removing water from your neighbor’s driveway. I know this sounds weird especially to all those in our family who live in warm climates, but it really is a problem here in UT especially in the winter. It could also mean going and doing service cleaning trails in your local park. Just taking the time to talk to you neighbors even makes a big difference. I would like to give a special thank you to my brothers Tyler and Josh for their service in the military. Because of their service not only to their community but to their nation Devin and I went and voted on Tuesday. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in this country and vote for the people who will represent me in government. This is a special duty we all have and I am happy to do so.
Saturday Devin and I watched our neighbor’s kids while they went out on a date. They have 5 kids ranging in age from 4-13. The 4 year old wanted to build a fort, so we went upstairs and pulled the mattresses off of all the twin beds and built a fun little fort. That quickly got boring and I got an idea. Does a mattress fit in the hall. I grabbed on of the mattresses and tried it out. Not only did the mattress fit. the mattress barely fit. That is an excellent thing especially if you want to do something crazy like line the stairwell with mattresses. We had 2 mattresses going down and one mattress as a landing pad. I am pretty sure none of the kids wanted to crash on the tile. Since the mattresses barely fit they did not slide much when coming down the stairs. Everyone had fun fighting their way up the stairs while someone else came down. This went on for a very long time. To bad for all you people in TX who do not have a good stairwell you will just have to come up here and visit to join in all the fun.
Devin has been reminding me that this month is National Adoption Month. I am a little disappointed at the level of national recognition. Last month every where you looked there where signs to remind everyone about breast cancer. I know that it is easier to get men behind the cause of not letting a good breast go to waste, but that does not make our cause less interesting. OK I will admit for the men it is probably a lot less interesting. Devin and I just want to say thanks to everyone who has kept us in your prayers as we have gone through the adoption process. As a quick update Devin and I are still waiting to hear anything from LDS family services. We have not had much luck. We are still licensed foster parents but Devin’s school is preventing us from taking children full time. They are excited for Devin to finish school because having a nurse will allow them to send kids with special needs to our home. We enjoy having any kids over and playing with them. We look forward to building our family. We love you all and hope you have an interesting and fun week.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Autumn and Nate
Anybody who knows Nate and Autumn knows how amazing this couple is. They work hard to serve all those around them, putting their need before their own. They are excellent parents to their two kids. The whole family is very intelligent and giving.
They are an incredible family of 5! Bart and Jeni are one of the most service oriented people around. They do everything in their power to live by the Spirit and do what is right. They are definitely great examples to all around them.
Mollie and Elliot
What a fabulous couple this is! They were just blessed with twins after some fertility struggles. They are so fun, outgoing, and love to have fun. You can't help but smile and absolutely love this sweet couple.
Wendy and Shane
What isn't good to say about this cute couple? Whenever they're around you can just tell the love they have for each other and others around them. They have definitely had their struggles, but have always maintained a positive attitude. It is wonderful what Shane and Wendy are accomplishing with their family.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We want the birth family to be involved. We'd love to have them come to birthday parties, see them for the holidays, etc. We'd love to talk the family on the phone, text, have them look at our blog, send them pictures. We'd even love to have the birth family over for dinner, or just stop in for a visit. We'd love to come visit too, if the birth family wants ... I think you get the picture though.
Overall though, we want the birth family as involved as they want to be. We never want to make our birth family wonder. We don't want to make the child wonder about where they came from. When we do get placed... assuming we get to name the baby... we plan on giving the baby a name from their birth family. So the birth mom's first name, birth dad's first name, a last name... something to help remind the child of their birth family. We'd love to have pictures of the birth family in the child's room and around the house. If the birth family does not feel comfortable with a lot of contact, that's okay for us too. We want to do what's best and comfortable for everyone involved. We hope everyone feels like their family is growing as the adoption progresses.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Here's a little video of Buddy "dancing" with Jared, our nieces, and nephew.
I have to tell you about another cute/funny thing Buddy did. These last couple of days has been on and off storms. This means mud! Mud everywhere. I let Buddy out in the yard to go do his business. I checked on him maybe 2 mins. later and this is how I found him...